Yesterday was the 4th day of Kwanzaa. The principle of the day was Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah) = Cooperative Economics. This time last year my husband, my brother-in-law Michael and I decided to use Ujamaa and start a savings program. At that time Michael was sharing our home. We didn’t want to save large amounts of money, just to show that by small, consistent saving together we would have some money on hand at the end of the year. We decided to each put $5 each Friday into the can pictured below. It sat on a table in the living room. We didn’t have any plans beyond saving a small amount and watching it add up. At the end of the year we had $780 in the can. We divided it up and each had $260. It isn’t a lot, but it was totally painless to save that amount each week. Michael has moved to his own place. Jim and I are going to continue the experiment for another year. We are also going to talk about it with during our New Year’s Eve family sleepover. Maybe it’ll catch on.
2 thoughts on “Kwanzaa – Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)”
I suggested years ago to our WEAH Family group that we do a similar thing despite the fact there were no specific plans for the funds. I felt it would be an opportunity for our family to build a consistent pattern of saving and could be used at some future date to demonstrate our commitment to whatever idea we were trying to accomplish if we sought financing from a bank. Upon our father’s death, I made a request that we collectively consider putting aside an agreed upon amount to establish some principle savings. Even more foolishly, I proposed that we save a significant portion of the funds that came from the sale of the Inglewood property.
Well, neither idea was looked upon with favor and our family group has done ………………..well,……………………..nothing towards any collective financial effort.
I do remember those various WEAH meetings and monies set aside and used up and somehow it all seemed to come to naught. But the idea is still out there and maybe it will catch on here if we can get more people to set up their own jars and cans to collect a small regular amount over 2014. Even if we can’t move mountains with it, we can defray some of the holiday costs that seem to creep up on us each year.
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